Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stephen Vestal and Elizabeth Walton Frazier, part 2 of 2

Stephen Vestal Frazier
Rich County, Utah, Probate Judge
In 1872 the Woodruff community cooperatively erected a meeting-house for both worship and school. As the community grew, a proposal was made to construct a new building. Like the original, the new public building was to be used as both a church and school. The settlers in Woodruff subscribed twelve hundred dollars in 1884 for the new building’s construction. After its completion, a squabble developed between the LDS bishopric and the school board over ownership of the property.

According to the Woodruff ward history, in 1884 the school board was composed of “one LDS, one gentile Liberal and one Mormon Liberal.” The two “Liberals” claimed that because the building had been used as a school and constructed under that pretense, it was a school, and therefore rightfully belonged to the district. Many Mormons in Woodruff disagreed and sued the school district in federal court. In 1890 Judge Henderson of the First district Court at Ogden, Utah, ruled in favor of the school district, and the meeting house became its property.

County courts, being under the direction of a probate judge, became a source of considerable strife within territorial Utah after passage of the Edmunds-tucker act of 1887. That act took the probate court out of the hands of the territorial assembly and made it a position appointed by the federal government. Consequently, virtually all probate judges within Utah from 1888 to statehood were non-Mormon.

In Rich County, two non-Mormon probate judges served during this time period—Stephen V. Frazier [1888-1893] and J. M. Grant [1894-1895]. Both however, fulfilled the duties of their office with little conflict. Only the conflict which developed over ownership of the public school/church in Woodruff damped the relationship between Judge Frazier and the Mormon population of the county.

At one point a community leader allegedly told Stephen Vestal he should leave town. Family legend states he determined he’d never leave Woodruff, and he built his rock house as a monument of how long he planned on staying. And declared neither he, nor his children would ever join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He never did, nor did most of his children. Many of their descendants have.

When Thomas J. Tingey’s barns burned, Stephen was there and helped save the horses. He organized men to go into timbers to get logs to build another barn. He used three of his own teams to accomplish the work. He was a patient man, set in his ways, quite a philosopher and believed in cause and effect, and that everything would turn out in the end. He had influence over his family, and his discipline was wonderful. Stephen built the rock bridge over the Woodruff Creek in town, known as Gene’s Creek.

Elizabeth took grandson, John Arthur Dean, as a chore hand during the summers. She kept him busy carrying water from the spring, feeding pet lambs, feeding chickens, ducks and geese. Elizabeth plucked feathers off the geese and made feather bed ticks and pillows. One of Grandson John Arthur Dean’s jobs was to hitch old Kate, her favorite mare, to the buggy. She would go visiting her old friends. Take a dressed chicken, a leg of mutton, a pie or cake, come currants or gooseberries to them. The old folks she visited were Uncle Arthur and Eliza Putnam, Elizabeth Huffaker, William and Elizabeth Neville. John Cox and Annie Neville Cox and her mother, old lady Stiff, Betsy Eastman and her brother Benjamin Walton.

Elizabeth took her mother, Granny [Susan] Walton, into her home and cared for her until she died at 92 years. And she took her widowed sister, Ann Witheral into her home for years. When Elizabeth was unable to care for herself she lived with her daughter Maude Frazier Eastman in Evanston, Wyoming until her death on August 6, 1918. She was 78 years old. Stephen Vestal lived beyond his wife Elizabeth. He died August 12, 1923, in Evanston, Wyoming, at the age of 84, at Elmer Eastman’s residence.

[Editor’s note: Thanks to Amy’s suggestion yesterday, I visited the Church History Library in Salt Lake City this morning. I found Elizabeth in Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, compiled by Susan Easton Black, 1993, vol.2, page 833. I was thrilled! There are numerous things this will help me with.]

Frazier (Frazer), Elizabeth
Birth: 14 June 1841, Oxford County Maine
Elizabeth Frazier was baptized a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 7 October 1863 by D. H. Bays. She was confirmed by J. A. McIntosh and Geo. Morey.
Source: Early Reorganization Minutes, 1852-1871, Book A, pp. 160, 430

Listed beneath her is Frazier (Frazer), Hester Ann
[Elizabeth has an older sister, Hester Ann Walton.]
Birth: 20 December 1838, Maine
Hester Ann Frazier was baptized and confirmed a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 29 April 1862 at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, by Shippy.
Source: Early Reorganization Minutes, 1852-1871, Book A, pp. 133, 190.

Elder Perry Green Sessions (I’m smiling). I’ll never admit to how many different times I’ve searched for Brother Perry Green Sessions. Perrigrine Sessions.

Links of Walton History by Hattie Walton Heninger, Compiler, Genealogist, 1981, pgs. 45, 49. The First 100 Years in Woodruff, Printed by Art City Publishing Co., 1972, pgs. 271-275. A History of Rich County, by Robert E. Parson, 1996, Rich County, Utah State Historical Society, pgs. 220-221, 282-283, 314. A Brief Historical and Genealogical Account of the Frazier Family by Isabelle Frazier Sugden, a copy in my possession.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stephen Vestal and Elizabeth Walton Frazier, 1 of 2 parts

Stephen Vestal Frazier
18 Feb 1839, Salem, Henry County, Iowa.
p. Thomas Frazier, Ruth McCraken
m. 1 Mar 1860,
wife: Elizabeth Walton
d. 12 Aug 1923, Evanston Wyoming
b. Woodruff Cemetery, Woodruff, Utah

Elizabeth Walton
14 Jun 1840, Mexico City, Strafford County, Maine
p. Samuel Walton, Susan Walton (cousins)
d. 6 Aug 1918, Evanston Wyoming
b. Woodruff Cemetery, Woodruff, Utah

Stephen Vestal was born in Salem, Henry County, Iowa in 1839. His father, Thomas Frazier, was a devout Quaker. Stephen said his father spent too much time working for the Church and neglecting his family. That drove Stephen to leave home when he was young. He learned to care for himself and became a proficient mason, laying brick and rock, and he was a lather.

He and Elizabeth Walton were married March 1, 1860. Some records say Lawrence, Kansas, another Salem, Henry County, Iowa. Eight of their fourteen children were born in Kansas and Nebraska.

Elizabeth Walton was born in Mexico City, Oxford County, Maine. Her Father and Mother and two of her mother’s sisters; Martha and Ruth, accepted Mormonism in Maine in 1840. They were part of a caravan of 14 families; totaling 60 persons in all who left Mexico, Maine in July, 1845. At some point Samuel Walton left his wife Susan and their children with his brother-in-law, Arthur, while he went on ahead to Chicago, Illinois to see if he could find work. About a year later, when Susan went to that place to find him, Samuel could not be found. One of her children later said, “we never saw father again.” Elizabeth and her family were en route to the West for many years.

Elizabeth was stricken with hop disease. She was bed fast for eleven years. She heard of the Mormon missionaries and requested that they come and administer to her. She had faith that she would get well, and said, “I know I will get well if they pray for me.” Perry Green Session was one of the Elders.

A grandson wrote that “soon after Elizabeth and Stephen married the Civil War began. The slaves from the South were fleeing north for protection and to help the North win the war, for they wanted to be free. One day, one of those fugitive slaves ran into their home. Grandmother [Elizabeth] knew that the officers would be after him soon. She told him to sit on a chair in the corner of the room. She took the bedding off the bed and covered him with it. Then she went on working cleaning the house. Soon the officers came in and asked if a slave had come in her house. She said, ‘I haven’t seen any.’ They searched the house, but didn’t find him. That night after it was dark she gave him something to eat, and he went on his way. "
The family moved from Iowa, to Nebraska, then into Kansas, arriving in Bountiful, Utah in 1873. Stephen Vestal told his son Albert Orlando Frazier that he came out to Utah in a cattle car on the railroad, looking for work.

He first worked at Evanston Wyoming for a man by the name of Jessie Atkinson at a lumber yard. He was there during a very hard winter. The following spring he moved to the Woodruff settlement, homesteading a tract of land on Wood Creek about 1-1/2 miles from the settlement There were originally160 Acres of land in his homestead, the fields contained principally fox lilies and greasewood. Elizabeth said they came on the claim with only one cow.

They built a house near a spring where Stephen built a wooden curb for their culinary water. Ultimately he and his sons built the three-story rock house that still stands on the property. They had many trials and hard times to make a livelihood. There was plenty of game and Stephen was a good hunter and fisherman, and kept meat on hand, and they were known to have eaten squirrel.

The disease, that the Elders had caused to be healed, left Elizabeth with one leg shorter than the other. She was about 5 feet 3 inches tall and wore her hair in curls that hung down over her shoulders. Her hair was combed and curled every morning. She was very neat and proud of those curls. She loved her children and devoted her life for them. Elizabeth was a Josephite. She was true to her husband and loved to tell fortunes with cards and tea leaves.

(To be continued.)
Elder Perry Green Sessions: In an 1870 on-line Anti-Mormon Book I don't want to link to, Elder Perry Green Sessions is mentioned, "Ten miles out brought me to Sessions Settlement, sometimes called Bountiful, where I spent the night at the home of Perry Green Sessions, a Mormon Elder and return missionary, who entertained me with some account of his experience in England and the Eastern States, "while laboring to build up Zion among those who are still in darkness."
From a brief historical and genealogical account of the Frazier Family by Isabelle Frazier Sugden, a copy in my possession. Links of Walton History by Hattie Walton Heninger, Compiler, Genealogist, 1981, pgs. 45, 49.
The First 100 Years in Woodruff, printed by Art City Publishing Co., 1972, pgs. 271-275. Pictures from the Glenn & Helen Rex Frazier collection.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, Part 11

[Editor’s Note: This post concludes the 5-part journal account of John and Mellie’s, October 23 to November 20, 1883, trip to the East. The 1890 Juvenile Instructor above, with inside title page, and page with “Jno. Morgan, Leather” written on it, belonged to John Morgan. It came to me by course of his daughter Bessie Morgan Rex’s home in Randolph, Utah. The question of whether or not it could have belonged to John Morgan was cleared up when I carefully looked through each front page and found the tattered one with “Jno. Morgan, Leather” penciled in the upper right hand corner. It appears that someone in the Instructor Office, where he frequently called when he was in Salt Lake City, indicated this volume (or set of magazines) was for John Morgan, and needed to be bound in leather.]

November 13
Arrived in Chattanooga at 8:20 a.m. Had breakfast at the Florentine House. Went up to the room and met brother and sister Haws. Afterwards brother [probably B. H.] Roberts returned and brought my wife and child up. Busy during the day, arranging for the emigrants and talking over matters with the brethren pertaining to the mission. In the p.m. drove up on Cameron Hill over to the cemetery and about town considerable. A number o Elders arrived, also a few emigrants.

November 14
Busy during the day telegraphing and getting ready for the company. At 2 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. Sessions called to see us. Met quite a number of acquaintances who treated me kindly. Took the 7:20 train for Louisville alone.

November 15
Arrived in Louisville at 7 a.m. and had breakfast at the 5th Avenue Hotel. Went from there to A. and M. Depot where I met Elder Hampton Beatie and a number of emigrants from Grayson Co., Ky. Attended to obtaining their tickets and at 2 p.m. started for Cincinnati where I arrived at 7 p.m. and met my wife and baby, also Elder Roberts with a small company of saints and Elders.

Arrived in St. Louis at 7:20 and met the party from Louisville, and found that they had lost one of brother Millers boys during the night and that the saints from west Tenn. were 12 hours late. We concluded to wait their arrival, which we did spending the day in the city. Brother Miller’s boy came up early in the evening and the Shawneetern (?) party at 7 p.m. At 8:45 p.m. we all took train for Kansas City.
November 17
Arrived in K. C. [Kansas City] at 8 a.m. and obtained two cars for Pueblo. Bought tickets and re-checked baggage. Met Jerry Toles just as the train was pulling out. During the day we passed over considerable of the state of Kansas.

November 18
Had breakfast at Coolidge [Kansas] and arrived at Pueblo [Colorado] at 3 p.m. Obtained cars for our people going to Colo. And in company with my wife and brother Roberts went up into town and had dinner. After dark a party of us visited the street works and had quite an enjoyable time. Remained up during the night and at 12:40 took train for Salt Lake City. The Colo. Party started south soon after.

November 20
Woke up early. Met N. H. [Nicholas Harmon] Groesbeck at Springville who informed me that Eliza [daughter, born 8 Feb 1875] could not join us on our way home Arrived at Salt Lake at 6 a.m. and drove to brother G’s [Nicholas Groesbeck] for breakfast. Had dinner there and in the p.m. brought wife and children down home. Quite cool. Arranged for the emigrants to continue their journey to Franklin, Idaho.
Elder Hampton Beatie is mentioned here and here.
Cameron Hill, Chattanooga, Tennessee (after clicking on Cameron Hill, scroll down to see two early engravings of Chattanooga and Cameron Hill, Tennessee.)

John Morgan Journal, University of Utah, Special Collections, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

John Hamilton and Melen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, Part 10

During their trip John Morgan takes Mellie to visit some of the people who welcomed and sustained him in earlier missionary efforts, February 14 – May 29, 1876. Two names that stand out during this period of time are Oliver Shelby and the Jas. Johnsons. He mentions Jas., and various Johnsons, in thirteen journal entries, Oliver Shelby he writes about fifteen times. The first part of this post goes back eight years to a few of his 1876 entries.

Money Creek, February 14, 1876
Spoke at Mr. Maple’s on Thursday night and at Mr. Lukenbill’s on Saturday night to good houses. Met Bro. Joseph Standing from the 12th ward on Saturday night and feel so much better and stronger. He will assist me greatly and together with the help of the Spirit of God I trust we shall do good. We are stopping at present at Mr. Johnson’s and will speak tonight at Wilcox’s School House.

Mt. Zion, May 11, 1876
Plowed for Mr. Jones today and went up to Bunker Hill to hold meeting in the evening. Had a good house and good spirit prevailing. A Mr. Annamon got up and made a speech after the sermon was over to try to stir up trouble, but utterly failed. Made friends for us.

Covington, May 12, 1876
Plowed during the forenoon, crossed over the River after dinner. Came to Mr. Shelby’s and helped to put down carpet all afternoon for them… May 15. Assisted to plant some melons this morning. Rode with Mr. Shelby out East several miles after cattle. Secured a Church to preach in and made an effort to get another, but failed… May 22-25. Have been plowing and driving the cornplanter for Mr. Shelby four days and enjoyed myself at the job. Weather warm and pleasant.

John Morgan’s journal account of his and Mellie’s 1883 trip to the East resumes:

November 9, 1883
[They spent the preceding night at Champaign, Illinois, at Uncle William Morgan’s.] Visited a sugar factory and gained some information on the subject of its manufacture. Had a walk about the city. At 1:32 p.m. took J. B. and W. train for Covington, Ind. Arrived at 3:40 and hired a buggy and drove out to Oliver Shelbys. Found Elders Butler and Durfic at Shelbys. All well. Spent a pleasant evening.
November 10
Raining this a.m. Drove down to Covington and received a telegram from brother N. G. [Nicholas Groesbeck] stating that the children were well. In the p.m. drove across the river to Geo. Johnsons and stayed all night. Had a talk with him and Norvell J. Enjoyed a pleasant evening.

November 11
In company with Elder Durfic we drove over early to Mr. Cronkhites (?) [Cronklutes, May 19, 1876 journal entry] and visited with them an hour or two after which we drove to Jas. Johnsons and had dinner staying two or three hours. From there we drove to Wm. Newells and visited an hour or two, being kindly received by all and enjoying ourselves very much. From brother Newells we drove to Shelby,s part of the time through a heavy wind. Met Elders S. R. Marks and Jno. E. Boothe who had been out on a short trip to Vudensburg, (?)

November 12
At an early hour we made preparation to continue our journey and were accompanied to the depot by Shelby, Elders Marks and Boothe. Took the 8 a.m. train for Indianapolis where we arrived at 11 a.m. Hired a buggy and drove up to uncle D. W. Hamiltons place of business and was accompanied by him over a portion of the city, returning to his boarding house and had dinner. Weather quite cold with considerable wind.

At 3 p.m. took train for Cincinnati. Met Wm. Cimback (?) at the depot. Arrived in Cincinnati at 6:30 and had an Oyster stew at the Cin. Sou. Depot. Took sleeper for Chattanooga.

(To be continued.)
John Morgan Journal, Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, Part 9

John Hamilton Morgan’s parents; Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan, Garrard Morgan II.

[Editor’s note: The John Morgan Journal account of John and Mellie traveling to the East, beginning October 23, 1883, continues. It appears that in these journal entries H. stands for Hamilton. I returned to John Morgan's 1876 journal entries for the very first time he visited home and family, hoping to better understand the people he mentions and visits. To his January 4, 1876 entry he added his genealogy, clarifying the complexity of the Hamilton and Morgan families. Hum! Is it possible to clarify this complexity? Perhaps there is information in this account that will assist family genealogists.]
Normal, Illinois, January 4, 1876
… I enter here my genealogy:
My grandfather and father were named Garrard Morgan. My grandmother Morgan’s maiden name was Sarah Sanderson. On my mother’s side my great grandfather was named John Hamilton; his wife, Elizabeth. Great [sic] Grandfather was James Hamilton, his wife, Margaret Hamilton. My mother’s name is Eliza Ann Hamilton. Gerrard Morgan, Jr. had a sister, Mary Morgan who married Marshall Hamilton, himself father of Woodson Hamilton.
November 1
Left Cin. [Cincinnati] For Greensburg at 8:17 a.m. arriving at 10:40 a.m. and was met at the depot by cousin Gail Hamilton. Went up to uncle Morgan H. and spent the day. Called on cousin Malinda McCane.

November 2 Got a buggy and drove out past where I was born. Went to uncle Marshall Hamiltons and stayed all night.

November 3
Started early and drove to Charles Hamiltons and stopped an hour or two returning to Woodson H. for dinner. Left there at 3 for Greensburg. Met uncle D. W. Hamilton and a number of old acquaintances. Stopped at uncle Morg. [Morgan] H’s.

November 4At uncle Morgans all day. A number called to see us, including Jas. Hart whose parents were members of the church. Josh. Pool and wife, two of the Peery’s and John Logan and wife. During the day walked out through the town.

November 5
After bidding the folks goodbye, we left Greensburg on the 10:12 a.m. train which was 10 minutes late. Went by way of Indianapolis and Kankarkee [sic.] to Chicago and put up at the Windsor House. Raining terribly all the afternoon.

November 6
Went about the city for an hour or two. Visited the Court house Square, Wabash Avenue, the piers on the Lake and at 11:05 came down on the train to Hinsdale on the C. B. and Q. R. R. to see father and mother whom we met, also cousin Jas. Chambers and wife. The weather has cleared up and quite pleasant.

November 7
Bad weather today again. Went to the city and called on Will. Met a very cool reception. Attended to some business about town and returned to father’s.

November 8Up early this a.m. and took the 6:44 train into Chicago. Lon [Leonidas] assisted us and was very kind. At 8:45 took the Wabash train for Champaign, arriving at uncle William Morgans at 7: p.m. and was met kindly.

Leonidas [Lon] Morgan.

This post at The Ancestor Files is about John Morgan's parents and siblings. Amy would like more information.

Some family members mentioned in this post can be found at LDS FamilySearch.
(To be continued.)

The John Morgan Journal from the Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. The pictures of the Morgans; Garrard II, Eliza Ann Hamilton, and Leonidas are from the Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr. photo collection at the Marriott Library, Special Collections, University of Utah.

Monday, September 21, 2009

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, Part 8

View Larger Map

This map marks the locations John Morgan sites in his journal from October 26 - November 16, 1883.

Trip continues, from John Morgan’s journal, University of Utah, Marriott Library, Special Collections.


October 27
Called on a number of the R. R. [Railroad] offices and attended to some business, then took carriage and drove through Tower Park to Shaws Garden, from there went to Zoological Garden and returned to Hotel late in the p.m.

October 28
Left for Louisville at 8 a.m. and arrived at 6:35 p.m. Raining very hard all day, almost.

October 29
Attended the Exposition today and saw a very fine show. A good exhibit of machinery and manufactures. Returned to the Hotel at 3:30 p.m. and remained during the evening.

October 30
Attended the Exposition today again. An extensive dog show among other things. Left Louisville for Cincinnati on the steamboat City of Madison. Met Anthony Thompson and two brothers during the evening. An effort was made to hold meeting on the boat, but it was prevented by a woman who refused to consent.

October 31
Arrived at Cin. At 8 a.m. and went to the Walnut St. House. Visited a number of R. R. offices. Secured passes from Mr. Wilson over the Cin. Sen. And from Mr. Egan through Mr. C. W. Parish. Visited the Incline and Zoological Gardens returning by way of the Acqueduct [sic] Street Car.

(To be continued.)

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan, Part 7

The baby Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan (Mellie) is holding in this picture is John, born February 12, 1881 (John dies December 4, 1881). Mellie is twenty-nine years old and her daughters are Helen Melvina (also called Mellie), born January 19, 1870, Eliza Ann, born 8 February 1875, and Ruth, born October 4, 1878.

This is the only picture I’ve seen of Mellie with any of her children. It is beautiful! Again, we have John Morgan descendent, Karen, to thank for making it available. Thank you so very much, Karen!

In October of 1883 Mellie accompanies her husband, John Morgan, on a trip East. She is thirty-one years old and takes their youngest baby, Flora (born 19 September 1882) with them. They are gone from their Salt Lake home from October 23 to November 20, 1883. It is the only extended trip of this nature I’ve found Mellie participating in. John mentions Mellie in only a couple of entries during this time, however, it is evident, they do a lot of remarkable things together.

Mellie travels with John to the Eastern United States where he was born, raised, served in the Civil War, and currently serves in the Southern States Mission. She meets his parents for the first time, and stays with them and other family members. They enjoy the sights and attractions of the times together. She travels to mission headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and regions there-about, meeting the people and seeing the places she’s previously only heard about.

Their return trip is unique in its own right, Mellie and John Morgan accompany Southern State emigrant converts to new settlements in the West.

From John Morgan’s journal, University of Utah, Marriott Library, Special Collections.

October 17
At work at my reports, and making preparation to start to the states taking my wife with me…

October 18
Took Mellie up town to make some purchases…

October 23
Took train at 10:20 a.m. over the D. and R. G. Had a pleasant run, bright and nice weather. On time at the supper house.

October 24
Rested well last night and had a lunch-breakfast at Cimmon Station. Passed Marshall Pass and through Royal Gorge arriving at Pueblo at 4:30 and laid over until 2:10 a.m., having quite a time to get to sleeping car.

October 25
During the day ran through the states of Colo. And Kansas and had a very pleasant run. The weather remained remarkably good.

October 26
Arrived at Kansas City at 5:30 and at 6:45 took Wabash train for St. Louis arriving at 6:25 and stopped at the St. James. Met brother A. H. Snow. Raining and storming heavy.

(To be continued.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan, Journal 1891, Nov. 20-23.

John Morgan’s chair.
Thank you, John Morgan descendant, Karen for sharing this picture of John Morgan's chair. Be certain to click on the picture so you can see the fine detailed craftsmanship.

In the following entries from John Morgan' Journal, he appears to be traveling from Salt Lake City to Nephi, Utah to visit Mary Ann Linton Morgan, and their son, Linton, born September 21, 1890.

November 20
Went to Nephi on 4 p.m. train. Found all well.

November 21
Quiet in the house all day.

November 22
Reading Stanley’s “Darkest Africa.” Several called in during the day. Some stacks of hay caught fire and burned belonging to brother [probably George] Teasdale.

November 23
Left for the city on the 5:30 a.m train and read Stanley’s return from Africa on the way. At work on my accounts all day.

In 1993 when we closed up Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier’s home in Salt Lake, there emerged a box of miscellanea. There were two of eight old books in this box of “stuff” my father and mother must have brought back from Randolph years earlier. They didn’t mean anything to me then, and these two seemed to me unlikely books from Randolph. My eyes only looked for evidences of Bessie’s life, or so I thought. I would deal with these books later. I put the other six in zip-lock-bags because they were disintegrating, and stood these two on my bookshelf. After a time these books just became “something my husband must have picked up from somewhere.”

I began reading and studying John Morgan’s journal in April of this year. I had to read these 1891 entries on a couple of different occasions before wondering about the book, In Darkest Africa. What is it about? Why would John Morgan be reading it? I did a Google search. About the same time I was also re-organizing the shelf these books were stored on to free up some space. I considered getting rid of them, and handled them a couple of different times.

Then it hit, these are the same books John Morgan talked about reading. I pulled them off the shelf, looked through them carefully, and looked at the title page. In Darkest Africa, or the Quest, Rescue, and Retreat of Emin Governor of Equatoria, by Henry M. Stanley, with two steel engravings, and one hundred and fifty illustrations and maps in two volumes, published 1890, by Charles Schribner’s Sons. These books came from Randolph because Bessie inherited them from her father, John Morgan.

I softened up the dried up old leather on them with some saddle soap the other day. And I am amazed I have a set of books on my bookshelf my great grandfather, John Morgan, was reading in 1891. Without my interest in his journal, I’m not sure where they’d be now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Percy Harold and Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex, Part 9

Percy Harold and Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex were married, 25 August 1941, in the Salt Lake Temple. Mary’s biography is here.

Percy continued to work at the B. Q. Ranch. His son Harold married Diania Haycock, 14 October 1940. in the Salt Lake Temple. They lived in Washington, D.C. Daughter Winifred married Theron Roscoe Andrus, 22 November 1941, in the Mesa, Arizona Temple, ultimately settling in Marion, Utah.

In 1945 Percy leased the “Wimmer Place” enabling him to feed his own cows there, and he bought out the Mary Brough Rex Estate heirs in 1950, running his cattle on some of his father’s original land.

In the late 1940’s Percy was called as a Woodruff Stake high counselor and as a member of the Stake Agriculture Board. As a board member, he asked stake members to donate heifer calves to build a stake welfare herd. These men kept and fed their donated heifer, giving its new calf to the stake herd each fall, thus growing the herd. The stake also purchased two farms near Evanston, Wyoming. Percy took great pleasure in working on the farms; haying, branding, and tending the cattle.
His youngest son, Maeser, served a tour of duty in the South Pacific before the end of the war. Upon his return to the states, he married Dorothy Tipton, 23 July 1947, in the Logan Temple. And on 8 December 1948 Percy’s youngest daughter, Flora Elizabeth, married Richard Dawson Lamborn.

A story to remember.
Percy Harold Rex had two grandsons who liked to ride his horses. The older of the two, John, would drive from Salt Lake City to Marion, Utah, in Summit County, to pick up his younger cousin, Millard. They would drive the hundred miles to Randolph for a weekend so they could ride their grandfather’s horses. There were three horses at that time; Prince, Margo and Button.
On this occasion the cousins were going horseback riding to Rex Peak in the mountains east of Randolph. John was going to ride Prince, who was only a partly broke horse. Millard wanted to ride Margo. Grandpa Rex, however, wanted Millard to ride Button, an older, not nearly as spirited horse as Margo. Millard really wanted to ride Margo, but his grandfather convinced him otherwise.

They got partway across the valley and came to a closed gate. John could not get off of Prince to open the gate. The only way he could get on Prince was to snub him to the fence in the corral before they left.

So, John told Millard, he’d have to get off and open the gate. Millard said, as he got off, rather than take his left foot out of the stirrup, he swung down. There was snow on the ground and his right boot slipped as it hit the snow, and he fell onto his back, his left foot still in the stirrup. Button didn’t even jump or move. He just turned his head around and looked at Millard as he lay there in the snow.

Millard wrote later, had he gotten his way and been on Margo, she would have run, and he would have been dragged with his foot caught up in the stirrup. At that time, he said, “I was sure glad I’d listened to Grandpa.”

He was able to roll over onto his stomach and get his foot out of the stirrup. He opened the gate, they went through, and were able to finish their ride. He learned from that experience, how valuable Grandpa’s hard earned knowledge of horses was to his grandsons. “I will ever be grateful to Grandpa for his insistence that I ride Button, saving me from possible injury.”

Percy Harold’s grandchildren loved to visit him in Randolph. If there weren’t enough horses to go around, he had a jeep that the grandchildren loved to drive and ride in. They’d pile in as many grandchildren as would fit, and drive the old dirt roads.

History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex and Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled and edited by Ronald Dee Rex, 1999, pg. 268. Pictures from Helen Rex Frazier collection. P. H. and Mary Rex. P. H. with Maeser. P.H. with Maeser and Flora Rex. P.H. shoeing his horse. Rex grandchildren with P. H. on the right, and one of his brothers on the left of his jeep. Grandchildren L-R Judd, Jeff, Rex, Yara (in front), Richard behind P. H. Thank you to cousin Millard for recording (2004) and sharing this account.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex

Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex
5 Feb 1892, Redmond, Sevier Co., Utah
p. Charles Martin Herbert, Martha Ann Wells
m. Percy Harold Rex, 25 Aug 1941
Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah
d. 12 Jan 1979, Salt Lake City, Utah
b. Randolph City Cemetery, Randolph, Utah

Mary Elizabeth Herbert was born in Redmond, Utah in 1892, the 7th child of Charles Martin and Martha Ann Wells Herbert. Soon after her birth the family moved to Salina where she grew up. Mary attended a year of high school in Nephi, Utah and graduated from B. Y. U. High School in Provo, Utah. She was only able to complete her education after her mother moved to Provo and took in borders. She and a sister received teaching certificates there. She taught school in many Utah school districts. In the 1921-22 school year she taught at the Randolph, Utah elementary school. She and another school teacher boarded with P.H. and Bessie Rex.

Aunt Mary on Old Spot, Randolph, winter 1922.

While teaching in the Granite School District her bishop asked if she would fill a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She agreed to serve if she could earn and save $900 that year. She did and was called to the Central States Mission where she served from June 1930 to May 1932. After hearing of Bessie Morgan Rex’s death in 1938, she sent a note of condolence to the Rex Family.

She and Percy Harold [she always called him P. H.] corresponded. Then she met him and some of his family in Salt Lake City at Conference time. They were married 25 August 1941 in the Salt Lake Temple.

She asked P.H.’s family to call her Aunt Mary. Everyone did. An early instructor said of Mary, “she was a natural born teacher.” The Rex family, and Randolph community benefited from her talents. As an active Church worker, she served in primary, relief society, and the stake mutual. She worked as the welfare director and as a news reporter for the Salt lake Tribune. She was artistic and crafty. She painted ceramics and collected salt and pepper shakers, and amassed a collection of upward of 300 sets. She made attractive covers for her kitchen appliances, and kept them in place. Hand-crocheted doilies covered the backs and arms of her upholstered furniture.

Aunt Mary and the P. H. Rex Granddaughters (except Bessie and Nancy) at a family reunion, Liberty Park, Salt Lake City, Utah, about 1962. L-R, sitting in front, Irene, Yara, Aunt Mary, Susan F., Flora Lee, Susan R. Back row; L-R, Ilene, Marilyn, Geraldine, Marlene, Carol, sitting on the table, Janene, standing with Marion.

Aunt Mary warmly welcomed each of P. H. Rex’s children and their families to their Randolph home. She cooked for them and housed them, rearranged plants and quilts and furniture so everyone fit. And she let the grandchildren construct hospital beds on her stairs and hall seat so they could play “nurse.” Ever able to nurture any plant to grow and blossom, she extended compassion to the old and the ill.

In the winter of 1959 she worked as a messenger, and was secretary to eight legislators at the Utah State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City. Thereafter she and P.H. frequently rented a Salt Lake apartment during the winter while the legislature was in session. They worked as aids and messengers. Aunt Mary’s sister, Mabel, and nieces and nephews lived in Salt Lake City and she liked to visit them. Aunt Mary’s Randolph grandchildren called her “grandma,” were very close to their grandparents, and visited frequently through the back fence.

In 1976 P. H. and Mary Rex left their Randolph home and moved into an apartment in South Salt Lake near Glenn and Helen Frazier.

I inherited Aunt Mary’s copy of One Silent Sleepless Night by Spencer W. Kimball. The title and utility bill envelope tucked inside, offer a brief history of P. H. and Mary’s stay in Salt Lake City.

P. H. Rex passed away 20 March, 1977. Aunt Mary lived in The Salt Lake Home, across the street from the 17th Ward Chapel to the West, and across from the old Groesbeck Homestead to the East. She made some very dear friends there. Family visited with her as often as possible. One of my fond memories of Aunt Mary while she lived there, is a trip we made together to the Salt Lake Temple for an endowment session. She passed away 12 Jan 1979 at the Hill Haven Convalescent Home on 9th East in Salt Lake City. Loving family members stayed near and were with her at her passing.

Randolph, A Look Back, written and compiled by Steven L. Thomson, Jane D. Digerness, Mar Jean S. Thomson, 1981, pg. 438. History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex and Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled and edited by Ronald Dee Rex, 1999, pg. 271. Pictures from Helen Rex Frazier collection.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier, Part 3

In 1941 Glenn and Helen were living at 1309 Derby Street, Oakland, California.

After completing high school and one quarter at the University of Utah, Helen’s brother, John Morgan Rex, joined the Air Force. He loved airplanes. He’d built and flown models, he wanted to work and fly on real ones. By November of 1941 he was stationed at Hamilton Field in Marin County, California, close to Glenn and Helen. He was with them when he could be, and attended Church in their Oakland Ward.
John Morgan Rex enjoying a nap after dinner at Glenn and Helen’s home.

For Thanksgiving of 1941 Percy Harold Rex and his family traveled to Oakland, California, where they spent the holiday with Glenn and Helen.

Helen at her kitchen stove.

The December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, and the United States’ entrance into the War, colored all of American life. Glenn and Helen were confronted with the news as they walked out of sacrament meeting that Sunday. They rushed home and turned on the radio. The family would later learn that John Morgan left San Francisco on the ship President Johnson when Pearl Harbor was bombed. They returned to Hamilton Field for a time, and then headed for the South Pacific. Helen’s letter to Johnny [brother John Morgan], ultimately returned to her, helps tell the family’s story.

Helen Rex Frazier, known for her lovely hand, and penmanship, didn’t need to sign her name to her letter. Her brother would recognize it.

Links to John Morgan Rex posts on this blog are:

John Morgan Rex Remembered

John Morgan Rex, Brother and Soldier
(To be continued.)
Pictures and documents from Helen Rex Frazier Collection.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Percy Harold and Bessie Morgan Rex, Part 8

According to daughter Winifred Rex, “Bessie had been bothered with bleeding stomach ulcers for a number of years and in 1937 her health started to decline. In November 1938, she was operated on for appendicitis and developed peritonitis which caused her death on 12 November 1938.” Missionary son Harold returned from Brazil November 9, and visited with his mother in the hospital prior to her passing.

Family, friends and all of Rich County mourned, and gathered around P.H. Rex’s family. Winifred wrote further of her mother, “Perhaps one of the best ways to come to know this fine and lovely person is to read some of the remarks made by the speakers at her funeral.”

The following paragraphs are from a twelve page typed copy of the funeral proceedings. Please contact me if you would like to see the entire document.

Elder Willard Peart: [Willard George Peart, 1887-1966, bishop of Randolph for seventeen years.] In the last twenty-six years she has been in our midst, she has been active at all times. She served in the Ward Choir, and also Secretary of the Ward Choir. She has worked with her husband, P. H. Rex, a member of the Bishopric of the Randolph Ward for fifteen years under two different Bishops. She has been a teacher in nearly every organization in the Church. She has worked seventeen years as Board Member in the Stake Mutual. She worked as teacher in the Sunday School, in the Religion Class, as a teacher under the late Bishop John C. Gray. We do not have anyone in our Ward who would not look up to Sister Rex and admire her. She had an art of making friends, it did not matter who, and she never tired in the service of the work of the Lord, and the service in the work of her fellow men.

When the Governor of the State came to our Community, Sister Rex was chosen to entertain him. This was the Democratic Candidate, and when the Republican Candidate came seeking office she was also chosen to entertain him. We who know her love her and know that she was 100% all of the time. …

Bishop Clayton: [John (Jack) Clayton, 1882-1974, married to Gail Morgan, Bessie’s sister.]
My Brothers and Sisters this is an arduous task but inasmuch as Perce requested me to speak I will endeavor to do so... There was never a time when we came here [to Randolph, Utah] or she came to our house [Salt Lake City, Utah] that we did not discuss the problems of the universe. It was a by-word of our children of both families that when Dad and Aunt Bessie got together they might as well go to bed because we would talk all night. I know what were her ambitions and her desires. I know what she wished for her family. I know what things came first with Bessie. In the first place, she had two ambitions and these she has accomplished. The first was her self-improvement. It is a law of nature that you have to help others in order to help yourself. That she did help others you have been told by Brother Peart who spoke before me. She was always endeavoring to accept responsibility that she might help others. Her second ambition was her family. No Mother had greater desires for her family than she. She loved them and she was ambitious that they live the gospel of Jesus Christ. When Bessie and I talked together I was apt to be critical. I remember the last time I visited her in the Hospital; she was not so bad then and could talk to me. She said, “I know that the Gospel is upon the earth and I get a thrill out of it.” That was her testimony and her ambition was that her children know and live it. That was the thing she had in mind. …

Of course I am close to the family. I knew the ambitions of her mother
[Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan] and Bessie was just like her mother. She had the same ambitions for her family that Bessie [sic] [Helen Melvina] did and she has inherited those qualities. She was endowed with an intellect from her father [John Hamilton Morgan]. A quality that could reason and understand and so I think that Bessie has accomplished a great deal in life. …

More information on Bessie’s passing can be seen here on this blog.

(To be continued.)

History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex and Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled and edited by Ronald Dee Rex, 1999, pg. 270. Thank you to cousin Karen A. for picture of Randolph Cemetery, Bessie Morgan Rex grave marker. Documents from Helen Rex Frazier collection. Randolpoh, A Look Back, by Steven L. Thomson. Jane D. Digerness, Mar Jean S. Thomson, 1981, pgs. 413-414.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier, Part 2

The mail kept the California newly weds connected with their Utah families. And their Oakland Ward got them involved. They developed life-long friendships among the young married couples there; Ralph and Alleen Tate, Flora and John Sears, and Doris and Ed Kingsford.

The twelve years Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier lived in Oakland, California, strengthened their firm foundations. They suffered and they prospered. Helen got work at Montgomery Wards and Glenn worked driving a truck. Letters from home sustained them.

Approaching their first wedding anniversary, Glenn and Helen received the heartbreaking word that Helen’s mother, Bessie Morgan Rex, was gravely ill. She passed away November 12, 1938 in a Salt Lake City hospital. Bessie’s health had been impaired for sometime. Her death, however, was unexpected. She had an eight year-old daughter, a son fourteen, and a son just finishing high school. She had developed peritonitis after surgery for a ruptured appendix. Her family was heartbroken. Glenn and Helen traveled home to Utah for her mother’s funeral, November 15, 1938 in the Randolph Chapel.

[There is a twelve page typed summary of her funeral services. Please contact me if you would like a copy.]

Two days later, on November 18, 1938, some family members gather at the Salt Lake Temple. There Glenn and Helen took out their endowments, and were sealed for Time and all Eternity. Helen’s Uncle Nicholas Groesbeck Smith (son of John Henry and Josephine Groesbeck Smith) officiated. Helen’s father, Percy Harold Rex and Uncle William T. Rex were witnesses.

(To be continued.)
Picture and documents from Helen Rex Frazier collection.